Devaluing Military Intelligence
Posted on June 6th, 2018

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

During the 30 years of terrorism, though we lived with the constant threat of bombs, we never fully grasped that we were a country at war. Therefore, even when we celebrated our victory against terrorism, it is difficult for us to understand the great dedication and the sacrifice of our forces to win that war. Without the silent work of our Military Intelligence, this war could never have been won.

The fact that our Military personnel and Intelligence groups are being investigated, detained, harassed and humiliated over various allegations, at the insistence of the West, underscores the threat that looms over our country. It is a matter of great concern that Major General Amal Karunasekera, Director Military Intelligence from 2006-2009, is in custody today. He is being linked to the investigation into Keith Noyahr’s assault, based on a series of telephone calls that had allegedly taken place, when the Nation Editor informed of the fact to the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Earlier, seven other officers were detained for six months, despite Noyahr’s statement that these were not the men that assaulted him.

Military Intelligence

Major General Kamal Gunaratne’s book, ‘Road to Nandikadal’, explains in detail that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had the upper hand, due to their Intelligence. The terrorists would sneak close to the Army camp’s boundaries, as much as they would dare, for their reconnaissance. It had always astounded the Army officers, when they found methodical and detailed notes apprehended terrorists had with them. While the LTTE underlined the value of intelligence from the beginning, it took us a while to get our own intelligence in order. Yet, during the last decisive years of the war against terrorism, our intelligence surpassed the capabilities of the LTTE and served the most devastating blow to the terrorist outfit.

From the information gleaned from our intelligence, specialized small teams were able to move deep into terrorist-infested areas and take specific targets directly. Their effectiveness drove fear into the hearts of the LTTE leaders. Though they increased their security and precautions, with the likes of Prabhakaran, never sleeping in one place for two consecutive nights, military intelligence always had them in sight. The Sri Lanka Air Force was able to swoop right into Tamil Chelvan’s hideout and specifically target him with minimal collateral damage, because of the intelligence we had by this phase of the war.

Though politicians like Rajitha Senaratne, who are eyeing for the so-called ‘minority votes’ says that we fought against our sons of the land, it is not so. We fought against an internationally networked terrorist group. Though they were proscribed in many of the countries, they enjoyed the open sympathy of the West, who covertly aided them.

Despite their own US-led crusade against terrorism, they lacked the political will to crack down on the thuggery and intimidation taking place in their own backyards against their Tamil origin citizens. They were thus unable to stop the extortion or the flow of arms and black money that made its way from their countries to Sri Lanka.
Major General Gunaratne recalls relevant Sri Lankan authorities too at first refused to believe the our Intelligence Reports that the LTTE were misusing the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement and had purchased 120mm mortars and 122mm, 130mm and 152mm artillery guns and were transporting them into the country in  their own ships and brought ashore in smaller vessels, barges and fishing trawlers. Thus, it was not some pistols hidden on the person of an LTTE sympathizer that the West failed to prevent, but entire shiploads of sophisticated weaponry.

When the political will in Sri Lanka changed from attempting to negotiate with an unappeasable terrorist group to eradicating terrorism from the country, the Military Intelligence had the LTTE’s seven floating armouries in sight. They were duly destroyed.

Prabakaran tried various ploys to escape the approaching Army. He even tried to make his getaway in an ambulance. He failed. Military Intelligence had him firmly in their sight. Our Military Intelligence had advanced far beyond the boundaries of Sri Lanka. The famous arrest of the main arms procurer for the LTTE  Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, was tracked down by the Military Intelligence; they also tracked down a plethora of LTTE-fronted organizations and schools operating brazenly in the West and had these blacklisted.

The reason that this terrorist organization with its tentacles hooked right across the world could not revive was because of the tireless and dedicated efforts of our Military Intelligence. It had been reported that from 2009 to 2014, there had been three serious attempts to kick start the terrorist group again. All three attempts were foiled by our Military Intelligence. Even recently there was a report of such an entity in India, working with the intent of reviving the LTTE being nabbed in India by the Indian authorities.

It is thanks to brilliant officers like Major General Amal Karunasekera RSP, USP, psc, MSc that Military Intelligence has advanced so much. Major General Gunaratne once explained in one of his speeches that Military Intelligence was once so primitive that they would predict about 25 places with impending attacks from the LTTE. It was a good day for the unit if one of their predictions came true. Needless to say, neither Military Intelligence nor its predictions were taken seriously. It is this unit that eventually became the eyes and ears of the Nation.

In 2006, the then Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka handpicked Major General Karunasekera as the Director Military Intelligence though he was from the Sri Lanka Light Infantry and thereby technically did not possess the expertise. However, he is reputed within the Sri Lanka Army as a dedicated, capable professional – a silent worker who was not a show horse. He had taken part in almost all the major battle operations. Furthermore, having completed the relevant courses at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy and other military academies overseas, he is a highly qualified officer.

It was under his leadership that Tamil Chelvan’s hideout was located with pinpoint accuracy. The seven LTTE floating armouries were also located by the Intelligence he managed. He was one of the three who identified Prabakaran’s body with the other two being Karuna Amman and Daya Master. It was his intelligence that led to KP’s apprehension.

In July 2017, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. This effectively made him the second in command. After his retirement, the Sri Lanka Government again sought his services by appointing him as the Commandant of the National Defence College that is to be established. He was to travel to India to study the Course Plan when he was taken into custody on 5 April. At the last hearing on the 30 May, bail was yet again denied to him as the CID had requested more time to complete their investigations.

This is a familiar pattern experienced by the officers and men detained over the cases of Nadarajah Raviraj, Prageeth Eknaligoda and the disappearance of 11 men from Trincomalee. They languished in remand prison for months with little or no proof to connect them to the allegations. From the courts the CID continuously requested more time to complete investigations, but to date they have failed to produce anything conclusive. Families of these detainees have complained that they were under tremendous pressure to cooperate with the CID to reach the conclusion the CID was insisting upon.

The West needs to discredit our leaders – political and military – to steer their neo-colonial agenda. The incumbent political powers need to disqualify their political rivals. Certain investigating officers wish to bend the law for political favours. However our future depends on how well we are able to discern between fact and fiction.

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3 Responses to “Devaluing Military Intelligence”

  1. Charles Says:

    Shivanrthi I am glad you have come back to fight your fight against the wrongs that continue to be committed by this Yahapalanaya against Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces. I just mede the following comment else where and copy it here for what it is worth.

    “What do these foreigners really know about Sri Lanka and its past. They go by what they know about the Tamil and Sinhala conflict resulting from the terrorism. Even Canadian government is openly supporting the Tamils and for them it is the Sinhala who are at fault. In the mean time the Tamils are consolidating their separatist ideology, by moving laws in their provincial councils against sale of any land to any one or taking over land by the government without obtaining the permission from the Council. They have called for the removal of 162 Buddhists Statues and temples in the North which they call are unlawful constructions and proposes to remmove them. They are also passing laws to stop settlement of Sinhala in the North and East. And the stupid Yahapalanaya Government to please the Foreign Governments give back the lands held by the Government, back to Tamils and call for reconciliation. Can there be a reconciliation when it is only the Sinhala make the sacrifices and the Tamils clearliy separate themselves from the Sinhala Majority ?”

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Executive presidency must be removed and the military must be completely separated from the political hierarchy.

    Otherwise devaluing the military happens always not just under the Yamapalanaya regime. Previous regime sold the army headquarters to China along with the statue of SWRD Bandaranaike! We are such an ungrateful nation.

    The military must be consulted on all matters pertaining to it and a consultative military committee should have the final say on military matters. It can also serve in the war crimes issue.

    It is not a bad idea to reserve the 29 national list seats for retired members of the military to sit in parliament based on seniority of continued service.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook is DOWNRIGHT WRONG when he ADVOCATES that the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY should be eliminated, just as he was DEAD WRONG when he joined Lorenzo to support Sirisena’s bid for the Presidency on Jan 8, 2015.

    Dilrook tries to hide how DEAD WRONG he was then, when what would and did happen when the “INTERNET DEMOCRATS” came to power was CRYSTAL CLEAR to MANY OF US who opposed the Yahapalanaya.

    Sadly, their POLITICAL CON GAME and their MASSIVE FINANCIAL FRAUDS succeeded. The whole NATION is in a TERRIBLE MESS NOW because a SUFFICIENT NUMBER of our Sinhala Buddhists swallowed their LIES & MISDIRECTION and were HOODWINKED into supporting the Yamapalanaya.

    When we FINALLY RESCUE Sri Lanka in the NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE, we should NOT ONLY hang on to the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY, but should REMOVE TERM LIMITS subject only to RE-ELECTION, and STRENGTHEN IT FURTHER to ENABLE us to preserve our dear Motherland as ONE UNDIVIDED COUNTRY!

    AN ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP should be to REPEAL 13A, DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils and ELIMINATE Multiple Layers of UNNECESSARY Local Government Bureaucracies that are BURDENING our people with CORRUPT PARASITES who ERECT BARRIERS to EFFICIENT PROGRESS and make the lives of our people INTOLERABLE!

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